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The EARS WA4IWLetter


FEBRUARY 2000

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

I'm typing this soon after returning from the "Tropical Hamboree" over in Miami. There's construction ongoing at the fairground, such that parking and building access for exhibitors, vendors and those who rented swapshop tables was limited and restricted. While the attendance seemed on a par with last year, comment was offered that the visitors seemed restrained in their spending. It's not known why a fair number of commercial exhibitors, including Mosley Antennas, failed to show up to exhibit their wares at their reserved booths. The crowds at the Kachina and Alpha Amplifier booths and interest in ICOM's new IC-756PRO never diminished, however. And, at the QCWA booth where I spent my time, a plaque was presented to W2AS to recognize his 80 YEARS as a licensed ham. Miami offered something for everyone.

On page 3 you will find two contrasting articles on communication. Reading about the trials and tribulations of Samuel Morse, one can envision how he struggled to persevere with very limited resources in order to bring his concept to reality. Who cannot respect his efforts and contrast them with the present?

What was cutting edge communications technology in 1837, however, cannot be expected to intrigue today's populace any more than would the use of kerosene lanterns for lighting, a well and bucket for water, or a horse and buggy for transportation--all the norm in that era. As AA7BQ comments in his article, ham radio needs some contemporary cutting edge technology in order to compete against the unlicensed communications technologies for the attention of those whom we need to perpetuate our hobby.

Virtually everyone aged 50 or younger has been brought up in the age of television; consequently they are used to an animated, visual communication medium. Attention span has diminished, such that few are willing to stare at inanimate dials and knobs, and use their imagination, as was the norm during the days of radio. Integration of computers with radios appears to be essential.

E-mail and the Internet have made world-wide unlicensed communication available to John Q. Public without the need for exams, antenna systems and/or the specter of RF interference with their neighbors.

The challenge has not gone unnoticed; the gauntlet has been dropped. What innovation comes next to ham radio, where it comes from, and who initiates it are unknown at this time. What is known, however, is that startling innovation is mandatory. Anything less will only prolong the demise of our hobby.

73 de Jack, W4JS

-- FEBRUARY MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 18 February at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. Officers' meeting will be held in the church's library at 6 pm. The business meeting will start at 7:30 pm in Room 400. The program will be a discussion of plans and activities for the new ARRL West Central Florida Section by Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, assisted by Affiliated Club Coordinator Frank Morton, AC4MK.

-- Hamfest ADVISORIES --

Please be advised that our Hamfest 2000 will not be the only activity going on at Tringali Community Center 11 March. Charlotte County is sponsoring a "garage sale" at the rec building at the east end of the Tringali complex. Consequently there could be an abundance of vehicles and people wandering about. Be alert!

Frank Maren, W4VV, is asking for additional help, especially for traffic and parking control. Please call Frank (697-8584) if you can help in any way.

-- EARS NET ACTIVITIES --

The EARS weekly net meets on the WB0GUX 146.700(-) repeater at 7:30 pm every Friday except the third Friday, which is our meeting night. VOLUNTEERS ARE SORELY NEEDED FOR NET CONTROL! Contact Don Spencer, WA4IWL, Net Manager, if you can help. Recent net activity follows:

Date NCS Check-Ins

14 Jan KA4JKY George 15

28 Jan W1PZE George 11

04 Feb WA4IWL Don 9

Also, don't forget the Snowbird Net which meets daily at 10 am on 14.278, and at 7:00 pm on 7.230. Advise your Northern friends of Suncoast life!


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

January 21, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were no guests present. New member Ted Holman, KB8UXK, was introduced and welcomed to our club. Al Parmentier, KF4JIL, upgraded to General Class at the Sarasota Hamfest.

George Shreve, KA4JKY, made a motion to forego reading of the minutes of last month's meeting, since they appear in the January newsletter. Seconded by Jim Halliday, NX2II, and carried.

Howard White, KD4MMY, gave the Treasurer's Report for December 1999, and made a motion for acceptance. Second by Al Parmentier, KF4JIL, and carried. Howard then gave the Annual Treasurer's Report for the year 1999 and made a motion for acceptance, with a request that the president appoint an Audit Committee. Second by Gene Fowler, KA1GCU, and carried.

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS

Jack, W4JS, reported that the badges have been received and most have been distributed. Some will have to be mailed.

Jack mentioned that attendance at the Ft. Myers and Sarasota hamfests was down, and encouraged strong support of our hamfest coming up March 11, 2000 at the Tringali Community Center.

Jack advised that Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, and Frank Morton, AC4MK, will discuss the new West Central Florida ARRL Section, and also license restructuring, at our February meeting.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - Irv Maki's son passed away.

TESTING - No testing scheduled this month.

HAMFEST - Frank Maren, W4VV, gave this report and discussed the ticket plan.

RACES - Ken, W4JQT, gave this report and discussed the new RACES plans.

CROP WALK - George graham, W1PZE, reported on the CROP Walk planned for February 26.

ANNUAL REPORT - President Jack Sproat, W4JS, gave a very nice Annual Report for the club, which covered activities and accomplishments during 1999. Gabe Meckenberg, K2GQU, asked for a round of applause for the good job Jack has done as president.

ELECTIONS - Nominations Chairman Jerry Meckenberg, K2JWE, opened the floor for nominations. None were made, and Howard White, KD4MMY, moved that nominations be closed and the secretary cast a unanimous vote for the existing nominees. Seconded by George Shreve, KA4JKY, and carried. The officers for the coming year are as follow:

President Jack Sproat, W4JS

V. President Keith Herve, WL7CKY

Secretary Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX

Treasurer Al Parmentier, KF4JIL

Trustees JR House, K9HUY

Frank Maren, W4VV

Don Spencer, WA4IWL

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, then presented a report on his outlook for the coming year, with strong emphasis on membership support of club activities.

FROM THE FLOOR

Sel Kerrigan, WB1CYM, has two Butternut Butterfly beams to give away.

Howard Hawkins, WB8IGU, talked about the Lansing Radio Clubs contacting first-year students at Michigan State to find interest in ham radio and to conduct training at the college.

Howard also encouraged more check-ins on the Snowbird Net. Uncle John, K1RSC, wants to hear from more of us in Englewood.

Frank Schwab, W8OK, reported that new exam questions will be on the ARRL web page in February.

Jim Halliday, NX2II, made a motion to adjourn at 8:44 pm. Seconded by Phil Vogt, KE4ZMH, and carried. There were 39 members present at the meeting.

Ken Anderson, W4JQT

Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX

Secretary

-- AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS --

The EARS VE Team offers ARRL VEC license exams at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce building, 601 South Indiana Avenue, Englewood. Two-day advance reservation is required--no walk-ins.

Candidates must bring:

(1) Original license and a copy of that license.

(2) Original CSCE's and a copy of each CSCE.

(3) FCC Licensee ID No. or Social Security card.

(4) Two forms of identification.

(5) A check in the amount of $6.65 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929
EARS DUES ARE DUE!!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN, 2000 DUES WERE DUE AND PAYABLE AT THE JANUARY MEETING. IF YOU'VE NOT YET PAID (CHECK YOUR MAILING LABEL) PLEASE MAIL YOUR DUES PAYMENT TO THE EARS P.O. BOX. THANK YOU!


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- SAMUEL F. B. MORSE --

(There are many worthy items of interest in the article "Inventor Samuel F. B. Morse--His Perseverance Helped Revolutionize 19th Century Communications" by Michael Richman in the 06 January 2000 Investor's Business Daily. Notably, Morse intended that his code be copied by a machine that would mark a paper tape with dots and dashes that would then be manually transcribed into letters. [Such a machine was used by the Dutch Railways in Indonesia, by the way.] While Morse practically starved to death eking out a living as an artist, his dedication to his concept ultimately yielded success.)

When Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) wasn't teaching art at New York University or painting a portrait, he devoted his time to making a crude model of a machine that would transmit messages over a wire--a telegraph. Having only sparse resources, he used a handmade battery and an old artist's canvas stretcher to hold the model together. Too poor to buy insulated wire on reels, he bought cheap wire in pieces and soldered them together. He then wrapped the wire--bit by bit--with cotton thread for insulation. He used old clock parts to move a paper tape across the frame where the messages were to be recorded.

He then used a swinging lever to support a recording pencil and a pole piece of an electromagnet. As the electromagnet activated the swinging lever, the pencil traced a line on the paper tape that corresponded to the received signal pulses. Morse than devised a combination of dots and dashes--the "Morse Code"--for each letter of the alphabet.

Morse learned about electricity while studying art at Yale University. He covered one room of his dorm room with a drawing he named "Freshmen Climbing the Hill of Science" portraying "humble youths crawling toward the pinnacle of knowledge".

While Morse's crude instrument worked in his workshop, he pondered whether this magnetic effect could be produced at the end of a very long wire. In 1832 he was assured that electricity would pass instantly through any known length of wire. However, his first attempt with just 40 feet of wire was unsuccessful. It was suggested that he use more than one battery cell and, with the use of 20 cells, in 1837 Morse successfully tested the telegraph over 10 miles of wire that was wound on reels.

Initially no government officials were interested in the telegraph, but after lobbying Congress three more times, he was given $30,000 for a 40-mile line between Washington and Baltimore. On 24 May 1844, Morse unveiled his telegraph and transmitted the historic words, "What hath God wrought!"

---ooo---

-- RESTRUCTURING THOUGHTS --

(Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, advised your editor of restructuring comments appearing on the QRZ web-site. The following gives some of those comments offered by Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ.)

Since the FCC announced the new licensing structure and 5 wpm Morse for everyone, the QRZ web server has been experiencing record traffic loads in its on-line exam testing section. If many people actually upgrade to General or Amateur Extra, there should be a surge in HF activity--just in time to catch the peak of the rest of Sunspot Cycle 23. However, this may be the last big surge in ham radio popularity. When this cycle fades, by the time Cycle 24 appears in some 11 years, the Internet, satellite communications, cell phones, and wireless hand-held networking devices will have captured every last young, bright and hip person on the planet. To them, analog ham radio will have the high-tech sex appeal of a rotary dial telephone.

In the past, high tech made ham radio grow in popularity, and was the force that has sustained the hobby. Hopefully, and soon, some new and exciting experimental communications technology will emerge that will help reignite interest in our hobby. However, it had better be something really good to stand a chance of competing against all the other, non-amateur communications alternatives. The ability to put up an antenna and communicate with someone near or far will not, by itself, be enough to keep attracting new people into our hobby. To compete, ham radio will have to offer unique and exciting technology in a way unlike any other hobby or unlicensed pastime.

-- ARRL REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION --

Presently, the FCC's Amateur radio database shows Technician licensees with a "T" and Tech+ licensees with a "P". As Tech+ licenses will no longer be issued under the new license structure, both Tech and Tech+ licensees would be indicated with a "T". The ARRL is requesting the FCC to continue to maintain the current system as an easy way to tell which licensees have passed the Morse exam.

The FCC has said that it would be up to Tech+ licensees to prove that they've passed 5 wpm Morse. After 15 April, CSCE code credit is valid one year.

(From The ARRL Letter 24 January 2000)

-- CLASSIFIED --

FOR SALE by conscientious, caring owner:

o Heathkit SB-104 HF Transceiver w/

Power Supply/manual $200

o Astatic D104 Microphone $ 50

Call Bob Benkovich, KF4YOW, at 474-9692


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- UPCOMING FLORIDA HAMFESTS --

11-13 Feb Orlando ARC "Hamcation", Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Dr (SR 50) 3 miles W of I-4, Orlando. TI: 146.76, Info: Ken, KD4JQR (407)291-2465

27 Feb Zephyrhills ARC "Phinney Fest", Zephyrhills Lions Den, 5827 Dean Dairy Rd, N of SR 54 between I-75 and US 301. TI: 147.35, Info: Ernie, KD4VRV (813)783-8389

04-05 Mar Gulf Coast ARC Hamfest, Fred K. Marchman Technical Education Center, 7825 Campus Dr, New Port Richey. TI: 146.67, Info: Rickie, KF4GXS (727)863-1457

11 Mar Englewood ARC "Hamfest 2000", Tringali Community Center, E. McCall Rd (SR 776) at Pennel St, Englewood East. TI: 146.70, Info: George (941)697-3445.

(From February 2000 QST)

-- SPREAD SPECTRUM INVENTOR --

Spread spectrum, a frequency-hopping technique now receiving attention in amateur radio, was conceived by Austrian-born Hedwig Kiesler, better known as the movie star Hedy Lamarr, who passed away in January. She was 86 years of age.

In her 1992 book Feminine Ingenuity, Lamarr describes how she came up with the idea of a radio signaling device for radio-controlled torpedoes that would minimize the chance of detection or jamming by randomly shifting the frequency. She and composer George Antheil developed the concept and received a patent in 1942.

While not used in WW II, when the patent expired Sylvania developed the idea for use in satellites. Spread spectrum has found applications in wireless telephones, military radios, wireless computer links and Amateur Radio experimentation.

Lamarr lived in a suburb of Orlando, FL in recent years and shunned publicity. (Lamarr sued producer/ director Mel Brooks over use of the name "Hedly Lamar" by the villain in the '70s movie "Blazing Saddles".)

A more detailed version of Lamarr's role in spread spectrum is described in the IEEE book "Spread Spectrum Communications", published in 1983.

(From The ARRL Letter 24 January 2000)

-- NOTABLE QUOTES --

"To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." (Theodore Roosevelt)

-- FEDS RAID RAMSEY ELECTRONICS --

For some 25 years, Ramsey Electronics in Victor, NY has been selling educational electronic kits to hobbyists, school children and ham radio experimenters. On 10 November 1999, seven armed US Customs stormtroopers and three New York State Troopers raided the firm with a warrant accusing Ramsey of selling devices that MIGHT be in violation of US Code Title 18, Section 2512. (Note how "our" government now puts the onus of proving innocence on the accused!) For the layman, that means that kits sold by Ramsey over the years have been categorized by the feds as "primarily designed for surreptitious use", presumably by international espionage organizations and terrorist groups.

The week before the raid two agents visited the Ramsey showroom posing as customers. They tried to persuade a technician to assure them that some of the products could be used for bugging offices, and asked if he could tell them how to "increase the power to go further". He told them, "If you want something like that, you're in the wrong place". (Entrapment, anyone?)

The culprit seemed to be Ramsey's FM-1 wireless microphone kits that sell for $5.95. Now that's a price that no cash-strapped terrorist could afford! The PB-1 kit (called a phone bug kit by the feds, but actually a very low power $15 FM transmitter) also was included in the $30,000 inventory confiscated.

Ramsey said, "They wouldn't let me see what they were taking, verify counts, or even observe what was in the boxes." "You can trust us", one agent said.

(From CyberSKIP Digest, January 2000)

--DANCING WITH FOOLS --

How would you like to do business with a firm having some 500 employees with the following records:

o 29 have been accused of spousal abuse

o 7 have been arrested for fraud

o 19 have been accused of writing bad checks

o 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses

o 3 have been arrested for assault

o 71 cannot get a charge card due to bad credit

o 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges

o 9 have been arrested for shoplifting

o 21 are current defendants in lawsuits

o In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving

Well these distinguished records are spread amongst the 535 members of the present U. S. Congress. Yep, the same gang that cranks out hundreds of new laws to keep the rest of us under their thumbs.

(Tnx to Ed Cronk, W9ATV, for this portrait of our "leaders".)


Page - 5


UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
WW RTTY WPX Contest 0000 GMT 12 Feb

2400 GMT 13 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial No.
PACC Dutch DX Contest 1200 GMT 12 Feb

1300 GMT 13 Feb

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Dutch Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
North American Sprint 0000 GMT 13 Feb

0400 GMT 13 Feb

80 - 20 Meters

CW

States, Canadian Provinces, North American Countries Serial No., QTH, Name
ARRL International DX

Contest

0000 GMT 19 Feb

2400 GMT 20 Feb

160 - 10 Meters

CW

DX CC Entities R/S/T + State
CQ 160-Meter Contest 2200 GMT 25 Feb

1600 GMT 27 Feb

160 Meters Only

SSB

Anyone, Anywhere R/S + State
REF (French) DX Contest 0600 GMT 26 Feb

1800 GMT 27 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

SSB

French Departments and Overseas Territories R/S + Serial No.
UBA (Belgian) DX Contest 1300 GMT 26 Feb

1300 GMT 27 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

CW

Belgian Stations + DXCC in European Union R/S/T + Serial No.
ARRL International DX

Contest

0000 GMT 04 Mar

2400 GMT 05 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB

DXCC Entities R/S + State

From February 2000 Worldradio, February 2000 CQ and February 2000 QST.

-- ENGLEWOOD CROP WALK --

EARS members will again be providing communications support for the Annual Englewood CROP Walk on Saturday 26 February. The CROP Walk traces its tradition back to the relief efforts initiated by farmers in the Dakotas who sent food to destitute Europeans after the close of World War II. Now it is a charitable event to assist less fortunate local residents.

EARS Liaison George Graham, W1PZE, reports that those members who helped last year are signed up for this year's event. Volunteers for back-up are welcome, so give George a call at 474-2845. All those helping out should be at their positions by 8am.

-- ARRL DX CONTEST --

The ARRL DX Contest 04-05 March is the one time that American stations are sought out by the DX stations for multipliers. So, this is a good time for anyone who thinks their station is a "Little Pistol" and not competitive amongst the "Big Guns" to get into the action and have some fun. The DX will be listening for one and all.

Ten meters is open daily to all areas of the World--at least if the A-Index is around 10 or less--so that this contest also gives the Novice and Tech+ operators an opportunity to work some good DX. In the ARRL's December 10-meter contest, DX can work anyone, but in the ARRL DX Contest they can only work the USA/Canada. That gives those Novice and Tech+ stations an even better chance to work some DX.

While USA/VE stations report R/S/(T), DX will give R/S/(T) and a 3-digit number (or "KW") for power output. You cannot work USA or VE stations other than KL7, KH6, and the islands of St. Paul and Sable.

Why not "break the ice" if you've never tried any contests and give it a go?

-- ON THE LOCAL FRONT --

Bruce, K2OY, was active in the ARRL VHF Sweepstakes 22-24 January. Bruce had 270 QSOs in that event, as follow:

Band QSOs Grids

50 209 50

144 55 16

446 6 3

What with the band/grid multipliers, Bruce ran up a score of 19,044 points. "Thanks to all in the club who worked me." Well done, Bruce!

(When you see VHF totals like that, can anyone find any excuse for not trying VHF if they're restricted from putting up an HF antenna?)

-- FLORIDA CONTEST GROUP --

The Florida Contest Group--the first ham radio contest club to be organized in Florida--is made up of contest operators from Jacksonville to South Florida. Their 175-mile circle is centered just west of Melbourne. Due to ARRL club rules, they also have a Panhandle Division.

The FCG sponsors the Florida QSO Party (originated by Florida Skip years ago), which is held the last weekend of April. For this year's IARU DX Contest, the FCG was chosen to operate W1AW/4.

See <http:www.qsl.net/fcg> for more info.


Page - 6


CURRENT/PENDING DX ACTIVITY AND PROPAGATION FORECASTS
CURRENT and/or SCHEDULED DX ACTIVITY

(Band/GMT for best chance of S5 or better signal)

COUNTRY - CALLSIGN ACTIVITY

PERIOD

BEARING 80 40 20 17 15 12 10
Macquarie Is - VK0MM

Chatham Is - ZM7ZB

Niue - ZK2??

Cambodia - XU7AAV

Pitcairn Is - VP6BR

Ethiopia - ET3???

Clipperton Is - FO0??

On 14.155-165

Now to 02 Mar

07 - 20 Feb

Now to 24 Feb

Now to- May

24 Feb - 07 Mar

01 - 08 March

220

230

252

349

226

66

242

--

08>12

07>12

NO

05>12

01>03

03>12

--

06>13

06>13

11>12

03>13

23>04

01>12

03>15

01>08

22>07

13>02

14>07

18>02

13>07

--

17>02

17>05

13>20

15>02

13>01

14>02

--

21>01

17>01

14>19

15>01

13>23

14>00

--

00>01

19>00

15>19

17>23

14>22

15>23

--

00>01

20>23

16>17

18>22

15>20

17>22

Updated 31 January 2000, based on 31 January 2000 QRZ DX and 28 January 2000 The 59(9) DX Report.

Notes: NO = No opening forecast. ??? = Callsign not yet known. Long path bearings and opening times (if any) are underlined.

Solar Flux assumed at 165 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- FEBRUARY PROPAGATION --

Based on its 3 years' progress, Cycle 23 resembles Cycle 17 which peaked in April 1937 with a smoothed sunspot number of 119.2, quite a bit shy of Cycle 21's December '79 SSN peak of 164.5, or Cycle 22's July '89 SSN peak of 158.5. Regardless, it's better than Cycle 16's April '28 "peak" SSN of only 78.1! While the Royal Observatory in Belgium predicts Cycle 23 to have peaked with a SSN of 116 in either December '99 or January 2000, the folks out in Boulder, CO expect it to peak between June and September with a SSN of 114. Since SSNs lag daily/monthly readings by 3 months, we'll just have to wait and see.

January's Solar Flux averaged 158.3, and the A-index was < 10 for 14 days during January--not as good as December, but 10 meters was still quite productive.

The February propagation forecast ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, February 2000 CQ) follows:

Fifteen meters will likely be the best band from shortly after sunrise until just after sunset, with 10, 12, 17 and 20 meters close behind.

From sundown to midnight as many as seven bands may be open for DX. Fifteen and 17 meters should hold up for openings to Central and South America, the Pacific area, and the Far East and Asia. Twenty meters should remain open to most areas of the world during that period with strongest signals from southerly and westerly directions. Good DX towards the east and south should also be possible on 30, 40 and 80 meters, with some openings in the same directions on 160 meters.

Between midnight and sunrise it should be a toss-up between 20, 30 and 40 meters for worldwide DX openings. Good DX openings may also occur on 80 and 160.

Late February to early April will yield improved conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 16-17, 19, 21-22 February should be "Above Normal"; 10-12, 18, 20 February should be "High Normal".

-- FEBRUARY VHF IONOSPHERIC OPENINGS --

Expect unusually good 6-meter DX during the daylight hours with F-layer openings to many areas of the world. Another form of 6-meter propagation, Trans-equatorial scatter (TE) usually peaks during the equinoctial period, beginning in late February, into South America. The best time for TE openings is between 7-10 PM. Some 2-meter TE openings may also occur at the same time.

(From "Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, February, 2000 CQ)

-- DXTRAS AND DXPLOITS --

VP6BR came on from Pitcairn Island 31 January, courtesy of Jukka, OH2BR, who is making a Pacific DXpedition to celebrate his 40 years as a ham. More information's available at his web site <http://qsl.net/oh2br/> QSL via OH2BR. (QRZ DX, 24 January 2000)

As positive evidence of Cycle 23, in 1999 the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service shipped 1,853,870 QSLs to DX stations, up from nearly 1.6 million cards in 1998 according to Martin Cook, N1FOC, who manages the service. Cards may be shipped to approximately 260 DXCC countries. Rates (for ARRL members only) are $1 for 10 QSLs, $2 for 11 to 20, $3 for 21 to 30, and $6 for on pound of QSLs. (The ARRL Letter, 21 January 2000)

It's been some years since Clipperton Island was on the air, now ranking it 53 in the 1998 DX Magazine survey, and 57 in the ARRL Hot 100 List.. The 12-operator crew for the 01-09 March DXpedition will depart San Diego 23 February. Four HF stations, one 6-meter station and one satellite station will be in operation. Their web site at <http://www.qsl.net/clipperton2000> gives more info and shows a photo of the 1954 FO8AJ Clipperton operation. ("DX", Carl Smith, N4AA, January 2000 CQ and The 59(9) DXReport, 21 January 2000)

W4JS was pleased to receive a nice reply to an e-mail to VK0MM on Macquarie Is. Now if he can just work him!


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- STATE OF THE SOCIETY-1999 --

(For the benefit of those not attending the January meeting, the following is a synopsis of the State of the Society Report)

MEMBERSHIP - While the result of the membership campaign was disappointing, EARS is at least maintaining its membership.

FINANCES - We have been able to operate within our budget over the past year in spite of rising costs--postage rates in particular. Dues remain our principal source of income. Other income was realized through donations to the Booster Fund, sale of donated equipment, and sale of personalized log books. Ham-com 99 contributed $666 to the coffers.

ADMINISTRATION - In March 1999 monthly officers' meetings were initiated. These meetings are held in the library of the United Methodist Church, starting at 6pm prior to the monthly membership meeting. All items discussed by the officers that are pertinent to the club membership were then presented to the members in the business meeting.

ARRL AFFILIATION - It was a surprise to discover that EARS was listed as "inactive" by the ARRL as we had not submitted the mandatory Annual ARRL Club Report Form for several years. An Annual Report was submitted to ARRL in December.

EARS SCHOLARSHIP FUND - The investigative committee concluded that without additional revenue, EARS would be unable to finance such a fund in a meaningful manner.

VOLUNTEER EXAMS - During the year nine sessions were conducted, during which 14 people were examined.

REPEATER - EARS has been dependent upon, and grateful for use of, the WB0GUX repeater owned by former President John Fellin. In April, Charlotte County offered a repeater facility in Grove City for use by EARS. We obtained a coordinated frequency pair and the equipment has been procured and tested by Charlotte County. However, installation is still pending due to a logistical constraint.

EARS WEEKLY NET - Don Spencer, WA4IWL, the Founding Father of our club and Net Manager, needs help. Don only has the support of KD9SJ year-round, plus KA4JKY and W1PZE during the winter. In 1999, on average, we had just under 13 check-ins.

OPERATING ACTIVITIES - EARS members provided communications support for the Englewood Crop Walk, the Pioneer Days Parade, and the Boca Bop Triathlon EARS also participated in the ARRL Field Day activities and operated from the Boca Grand Lighthouse on Gasparilla Island for International Lighthouse Weekend.

-- OUTLOOK FOR 2000 --

(The following synopsis of the President's Outlook for 2000 is for the benefit of those not attending the January meeting)

EARS ADMINISTRATION - This year's lineup of elected officers contains more new faces than at any time in recent years.

Vice-President Keith Herve's primary obligation during this year will be finding subjects, videos, speakers, etc. for presentation of interesting programs. If any of you have any ideas that could assist Keith in that task, please contact him.

Once the new repeater becomes operative, we will need a Repeater Committee to whom we can turn regarding any matters relative to that equipment.

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH - We are all aware that the new entry-level Technician license will be somewhat easier to obtain. However, we cannot expect a flood of new people lining up for license exams if (1) they never even heard of ham radio, and (2) they cannot find anything of personal interest in the hobby. Therefore, we MUST reach out to these folks.

How many belong to another group/club that might be interested in hearing about Ham Radio? How many think they could prepare a meaningful program and deliver a talk on Ham Radio to the uninitiated? We must spread the word about this great hobby. Nobody else will do it for us.

With the restructured licensing, the window of opportunity has opened a bit further for some Lemon Bay faculty member to get licensed and establish a club station at the high school. We must be willing to help, if first we can get such a person involved.

SUPPORT OF EARS ACTIVITIES - The Tamiami ARC Net Manager can get over 13 percent of that club's members to serve as net control stations but, on average, we can only get some 11 percent of our members to even check into our weekly net.

Hamfest 2000 is coming 11 March. Please help support our hamfest and make it successful through purchase and sale of tickets.

While we have good support setting up and taking down our Field Day station, we have lacked operators and loggers in recent years.

EARS social activities are very slim. Many of our members eat out quite a bit anyway, so why not combine that routine into an organized "couples" dinner every other month, or so?

CONCLUSION - There are so many diverse aspects of Ham Radio these days that each and every one of you can find something of interest. Your common interest in support of EARS has been sustaining and not unrecognized.

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